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Background PSI Global had a series of air filters that were being produced from tooling that was getting old and unreliable. The parts had several odd features resulting from design errors and tool wear that made life difficult for the assembly shop workers.

Every time the die-casting tools were run there was a feeling that this might be the time that one of the tools would crack-up, leaving PSI Global with orders to fill and no production. Added to this, there was also a feeling in the marketing department that if new tooling was to be made, then there was an opportunity to improve the product to keep up with market changes that had taken place since the original market launch.

Challenge There was no 3D data and the 2D drawings that were on file did not fully match the parts that were being produced, so it was not possible to get good quotes for replacement tooling.

Without 3D data it was not easy to explore alternative design options, especially since the improvement objectives were focussed on metal mass reduction and improved gas flow through complex passages within the castings.

Solution Step 1, Reverse-Engineering. SA made accurate 3D CAD copies of the actual existing parts. This was done by carefully measuring every feature of all the parts and CAD modelling them from scratch.

Then the 3D data was adjusted to give “current design altered to avoid assembly problems”. 2D drawings were produced to allow PSI to get accurate tooling quotes for replacement parts.

Step 2, Improvements. The parts were re-designed to eliminate unnecessary metal and improve the gas-flow path. The gas flow improvements were validated without making expensive prototype parts, using Cosmos Flow Works. Several new features were added to match or exceed the features offered by PSI-Global’s competitors.

Deliverables The facts speak for themselves:

  • 17% reduction in metal content.
  • 50% reduction in machining time.
  • 20% reduction in casting rejects.
  • 10% increase in gas-flow rate.
  • And there were a number of exciting new features

Results The results were widespread - there were large cost-savings, more reliable production, better in-service performance, which led to more customer appeal. Final result - one very happy client.